Paul S. Swerdlow
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Paul S. Swerdlow

Farmington Hills - Paul Steven Swerdlow, M.D., age 69, of Farmington Hills, Michigan, passed away on Sunday, April 11, 2021. Paul was a tenured professor of medicine, hematology/oncology and pediatrics, at Wayne State University School of Medicine. He was a dedicated member of the medical staff at the Karmanos Cancer Institute and several DMC facilities including Children's Hospital of Michigan, Detroit Receiving Hospital, Harper Hospital, Hutzel Hospital, Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan, and Sinai-Grace Hospital.

Throughout his career, Paul's focus was on compassionately treating sickle cell disease patients and advancing research to improve their pain management and quality of life.

Paul is survived by his family, who will miss him terribly, including his beloved wife, Carolyn; daughter Julie, whom he adored, and her partner Seth Racine; a close-knit group of siblings and their spouses - Irene and Daniel Swerdlow-Freed, Robert and Victoria Swerdlow, and John Swerdlow and Pamela Harnick - and eight nieces and nephews.

Paul was born in 1951 in Brooklyn, New York to Albert and Bertha Swerdlow and grew up in Oak Park, Michigan. He received a B.S. in Life Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School and the Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology. He met Carol while he was at MIT and she was at Simmons College, and they married in 1975.

Paul received his medical training at the University of Michigan, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and Boston Children's Hospital. In 1985, he accepted an appointment as assistant professor of medicine at the Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University. Ten years later, his family moved to Michigan, where he became an associate professor at Wayne State University (WSU) and led the university's sickle cell program.

At WSU, Paul pursued and published his research in sickle cell disease, and chaired and served on numerous university, hospital, and professional committees and research review boards. He served as the interim division chief of hematology/oncology at WSU in the early 2000s. Paul especially enjoyed training medical students, residents, and fellows and received numerous awards for his commitment to teaching.

Paul loved taking snorkeling trips with his family, reading science fiction books (sometimes in Spanish), and enjoying good food and drink. He regularly practiced Bikram yoga, an activity he shared with his daughter Julie. Paul will always be remembered for his intelligence, deep kindness, and ready laughter.

Donations in Paul's honor can be made to the following organizations: Sickle Cell Disease Association of America - Michigan Chapter: https://www.scdaami.org/about-us and American Society of Hematology Sickle Cell Disease Initiative Fund:

https://www.hematology.org/foundation/supported-programs/sickle-cell-disease-initiative-fund.




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Published in Detroit Free Press & The Detroit News from Apr. 14 to Apr. 15, 2021.
Memories & Condolences
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14 entries
April 30, 2021
He was a wonderful and caring Doctor. I was his Sickle Cell patient for years. I will miss him.
ANTIONETTE BURTON
Acquaintance
April 26, 2021
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.Dr.Swerdlow was a very caring person, always respectful to patients, students and employees.
Anna Wojtal RN
Coworker
April 23, 2021
He was the best Physician I have had in my entire 36 years of life on this earth. He truly was a genius and could always explain things in the simplest terms for me. He was an advocate for Thalassemia and the Sickle Cell Community. My deepest condolences to his entire family.
Navdeep Singh
Friend
April 23, 2021
He was the best Physician I have had in my entire 36 years of life on this earth. He truly was a genius and could always explain things in the simplest terms for me. He was an advocate for Thalassemia and the Sickle Cell Community. My deepest condolences to his entire family.
Navdeep Singh
Friend
April 17, 2021
IT WAS A GREAT JOY TO HAVE WORKED at Karmonos With Dr.P.Swerdlow, he was a EXCELLENT DOCTOR. My condolences to the family.
Carolyn Ward
Coworker
April 16, 2021
Paul is the kindest person I ever met, always positive and always ready to help. He mentored me for more than 10years and I have nothing but great memories. He is knowledgeable about almost everything and kind physician. He will be missed dearly but will be remembered with warm heart.
Indrias
Friend
April 16, 2021
Of all my doctors he was my favorite I’ve never known a doctor so kind and understanding i’m not just sad for myself I’m sad for his family they’ve lost a great man my heart is with his family may your pain ease soon and thank you Paul for being my doctor and taking excellent care of me I always assumed I would go first you’re not supposed to outlive your doctor you’re just not.
Desiree dorlin
Friend
April 16, 2021
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Ruthie Maples, LMSW
Coworker
April 16, 2021
I was so surprised to hear that he passed. My deepest condolences to his family. I am one of his Sickle Cell patients. I talked to him last month in March that was our last conversation. I am going to miss his laugh, smile, especially all of the knowledge he gave me. The last question I asked him was can someone with Sickle Cell go out of space? Out of all the questions I've asked over the years that was the only one he didn't have the answer to.. I am going to miss him sooo much. He was an amazing doctor and a good man.
Markita Groce
Friend
April 15, 2021
In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always. He was my Doctor at UHC/DMC for decades.
DeeDee Wright
Acquaintance
April 15, 2021
Dr. Swerdlow took care of me for over 20 years & my daughter 3 years. I always looked at him as part of my family because he showed concern for me as if I were his family. There aren't many Dr.'s that truly care for their patients wholeheartedly but you did. I appreciate you for everything you taught me & for your healing heart. You will be missed tremendously. Your patients love you! Take your rest now sir & I'll see you on the other side.
Sequoia Colvard
Friend
April 15, 2021
You are the kinda guy who’s passing will make the world less special. A great mentor and truly devoted doc. From One of your previous residents.
Dr. Lucio Minces
Student
April 15, 2021
Thank you for caring for My son Andre Payne for so many years. You bedside manner was impeccable. You will be missed Sir.
Rose Lile
Friend
April 15, 2021
My heart goes out to the family, I worked with him on the Harper Sickle Cell unit, then again in the Karmanos clinic. You are so right in your description; he will always be known for his smarts,
sweetness and sense of humor!
Sandy Lucas RN, BSN, OCN
Coworker
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